Michael Frolik ends 20-game goalless drought as Flames double up Coyotes 4-2
Michael Frolik ended a 20-game goalless drought and also added an assist Saturday night as the Calgary Flames used a strong first period to beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-2.
Mikael Backlund, Dennis Wideman and Lance Bouma also scored in the first for Calgary (20-17-2), which improved to 4-0 against the Coyotes this season. Matthew Tkachuk’s assist extends his scoring streak to six games (one goal, six assists).
Brendan Perlini and Martin Hanzal had goals for Arizona (11-21-5), which has lost seven straight.
Flames goaltender Brian Elliott finished with 27 saves and has won his last four starts after going over seven weeks without a win. He improved to 7-9-1.
Louie Domingue turned aside 20 of 24 shots for the Coyotes while falling to 4-10-1.
Frolik opened the scoring at 6:08 on the power play when Tkachuk’s shot attempt bounced into the slot where Frolik slid it past Domingue for his seventh goal.
Wideman made it 2-0 at 12:09 on a shot from the point that went through two sets of legs before beating Domingue, who didn’t appear to see it.
The Flames struck again 29 seconds later when Bouma’s centring attempt banked in off the leg of Arizona defenceman Alex Goligoski.
Frolik later helped set up Backlund’s team-leading 11th goal at 15:42 to make it 4-0. Backlund has scored in four straight games with six goals over that span.
That goal also made it two power-play goals against on the night and 13 surrendered by the Coyotes on 26 attempts during their losing streak.
The Flames power play was best in the NHL in December scoring 17 times on 49 chances.
Domingue was getting the start to give Mike Smith the night off after he started the last 12 games. Calgary scored on its first, fourth, fifth and eighth shots in taking a 4-0 lead in an opening 20 minutes in which both sides had nine shots.
Elliott was especially sharp in the second when Arizona outshot Calgary 16-6.
After Perlini neatly steered in Shane Doan’s centring pass at 15:40, the Coyotes had a chance to draw to within two when Micheal Ferland’s giveaway at the blue line sprung Tobias Rieder on a breakaway, but Elliott stuck out his skate to deny him on a deke.
Hanzal’s goal at 11:53 got Arizona within a pair but it was too little, too late.